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Blackjack Strategy for Special Moves

By: Adam Baker, Tuesday September 30th 2008
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There are certain moves in blackjack that are available to players as options. Two of these moves are double and split. Blackjack strategy dictates how and when these moves should be made. These strategies have been devised after simulating hundreds of thousands of blackjack hands.

In the double move after a player sees his dealt hand and the dealer's first card he can double his initial wager. But once a player doubles he has to take one and only one additional card. The blackjack strategy of whether or not to double depends on the player's existing hand value, the dealer's face up card and whether the player has a soft or a hard total. A soft total is one in which the ace can take the value of 11. A hard total either has no ace or the ace necessarily takes the value of 1. A summary of the double strategy is provided below.

If the player has a soft 13 or 14 then he should double when the dealer's face up card is a five or a six. If the player has a soft 15 or 16 then he should double when the dealer's face up card is a four, five or six. If the player has a soft 17 then he should double when the dealer's face up card is a three, four, five or six. If the player has a soft eighteen then he should double when the dealer's face up is a two, three, four, five or six. If the player has a hard 11 he should always double. If the player has a hard 10 he should always double except when the dealer's face up card is a ten or an ace. If the player has a hard 9 then he should double when the dealer's face up card is a three, four, five or six.

The split move comes into play when the player is dealt two cards of the same rank. The player can split the two cards as separate hands place another identical wager and play two hands. The split strategy depends on the player's existing hand value and the dealer's face up card. A summary of the split strategy is provided below.

If the player is dealt a pair of twos or threes then he should split when the dealer's face up card is a four, five, six or seven. If the player is dealt a pair of sixes then he should split when the dealer's face up card is a three, four, five or six. If he player is dealt a pair of sevens then he should split when the dealer's face up card is a two, three, four, five, six or seven. If the player is dealt a pair of nines then he should split when the dealer's face up card is between a two and a nine. If the player is dealt a pair of eights or aces then he should always split.

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